Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ed’s Guru Glasman Goes For Jugular

Ed Miliband seems to have missed out on those popular few months that even Gordon managed to achieve in the summer of 2007 and has gone straight to the continual leadership crisis stage. Just when Guido thought the Don’t Unseat Ed Miliband Association had got through a successful day of defeating the traitors, Ed’s own guru Maurice Glasman pops up with his Staggers column. The Kray brother lookalike has given Ed two barrels, telling him  “to show some leadership”:

“There seems to be no strategy, no narrative and little energy. Old faces from the Brown era still dominate the shadow cabinet and they seem stuck in defending Labour’s record in all the wrong ways – we didn’t spend too much money, we’ll cut less fast and less far, but we can’t tell you how. But we have not won, and show no signs of winning, the economic argument. We have not articulated a constructive alternative capable of recognising our weaknesses in government and taking the argument to the coalition. We show no relish for reconfiguring the relationship between the state, the market and society. Ed . . . has not broken through. He has flickered rather than shone, nudged not led.”

How is that for gratitude? Ed might want to think twice about who he puts in the Lords next time. If there is a next time…

UPDATE: Glasman ends his article with: “And we all need to show him love and support in return. I’m backing Ed Miliband.” That should smooth feathers over in Ed’s office this afternoon!

UPDATE II: Glasman has a pop at Ed’s ideological and spiritual father too:

“The problem with Brownite political economy is that, even though it was true that a 3% deficit was not excessive in the context of economic growth, it was debt that was growing at the time, rather than the real economy. A vast, sustained expansion in private debt fuelled the financial sector throughout Brown’s tenure as chancellor and then prime minister”.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guardian Hack: “I’m a Dodger”

A classic snippet from Kevin Maguire’s column that Guido thought deserved more than New Statesman’s niche, and still declining, audience:

“Boris Johnson’s pledge to take the last of London’s bendy buses off the road by Christmas could prove costly for Zoe Williams, the Mayor of London’s foe-in-chief at the Guardian.Williams, I discovered, is a self-confessed fare dodger. Your columnist’s eye was directed to a hitherto overlooked admission in the pages of her rag. “I actually had a lot of affection for bendy buses, mainly because evading your fare was so easy that to pay was almost missing the point,” wrote Williams in May. “We used to call it ‘freebussing’. I said that to the photographer and she said: ‘But they only came in a few years ago. You weren’t 12 . . . You weren’t even a student. You were . . .’ I was 31. Can I be arrested for saying this? Ach, I will just pretend it was a joke.”

Do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do from a Guardian hack? Well, well. Perhaps Rusbridger can use the same “it was just a joke” line when it comes to their investment and tax affairs

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dan Hodges Joins Telegraph
Confirms Guido’s Scoop

After a bidding war across the mainstream media blogs, Dan Hodges has signed up to the Telegraph, which is sure to put a few noses out of joint.

“On Thursday morning I got a call from Throatdeep. There had been “an editorial meeting”. This, I knew, was bad. No good ever came from editorial meetings.

The party “incident” had been discussed. Ed’s team were apparently unhappy. Their people had been talking to our people. Three issues had been identified: me and Ralph Nader; the fact that week’s interview between Ed Miliband and Mehdi Hasan hadn’t been featured prominently on the front of the magazine”

He’s blown open the truth about why he left the New Statesman, leaving Ed’s office and the Staggers with red faces:

“And that was it. I shook hands with Throatdeep, in that awkward way men do when they know their paths are diverging. I should give it until Friday, he said. That was fine, I responded. Unless he heard from me, he should take it I’d resigned.

And resign I did. In that dignified and time-honoured manner so beloved of Westminster insiders: the story was leaked to Guido Fawkes.

Did I jump? Was I pushed? Did I flounce? The answer to all three is yes.”

Ed Miliband’s press office tweeted a public denial of any pressure from them:

Hodges has left some parts of the story in code. So Guido thought he would decrypt them for you:

  • “One long-serving staff member” – Mehdi Hasan
  • ThroatDeep – Obviously Jon Bernstein
  • Ms. OrangeTotal Politics political editor Amber Elliott.

Guido won’t hold his breath for an apology after the New Statesman trashed his story at the beginning of the week. He’ll let you be the judge…

Today’s Staggers Cover

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ed to Staggers: Rid Me of This Turbulent Hodges

The NewStatesman’s party on the Sunday of Labour conference usually sees the party leader turn up and glad-hand the great and the good. This year Ed walked in one door and walked out the other door barely stopping to shake a hand. On his way out he muttered dismissively that this was his “thirteenth event of the night”. Ed’s people let it be known that it wasn’t bad luck that he snubbed the Staggers, the primary reason for his minimal technical attendance was Dan Hodges’ article that morning attacking Miliband’s strategy as “bold, brave, and politically suicidal” calling Ed the “Ralph Nader of British politics”. You can see how that might hurt.

This brought about a managerial crisis of confidence in editorial plurality. Friends of Hodges say that he thought the understanding was that “Mehdi licked Ed’s arse and Dan kicked him in the balls”. In the Thursday edition published during party conference Dan Hodges’ article about the booing of Blair was spiked and didn’t appear in the magazine – in fact it ended up being published on IainDale.com. Hodges was told he would be rested from the magazine for a few months but allowed to continue to blog for the magazine. Friends say Hodges was told explicitly that the Staggers’ relationship with the Labour leader’s office was important and he was damaging that relationship. Hodges has now resigned.

Could Hodges end up writing for the Spectator? When Martin Bright was pushed out after pressure from Gordon Brown he shifted from being the Staggers’ political editor to writing for their more successful rival. All in all it reflects pretty poorly on the Statesman that it has caved into pressure like this again. The Speccie positively revels in poking party leaders in the eye…

UPDATE:

Well they would say that, wouldn’t they…

Mehdi Hasan, the political editor at the Staggers and sympathetic biographer of Ed Miliband has just tweeted, “For all of you asking me to #SaveDanHodges … I don’t want to”.  Hmmm…

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Couldn’t Organise A…

Rather optimistically this email has just gone out to Tory and LibDem MPs:

Dear Colleagues

We will be sending you an invitation to Labour Party Conference Events shortly.

Most grateful,

From the Office of
Geoffrey Robinson MP
Chairman
New Statesman

Omni-shambles…

UPDATE: Why is Geoffrey Robinson MP using his taxpayer funded parliamentary email address to send emails out for a commercial organisation in which he has a financial interest? One for the Sunlight Centre to investigate methinks…

Monday, December 27, 2010

Quote of the Day

Prediction by New Statesman’s James Macintyre made 6 May, 2010…

“I predict that David Cameron, having failed to convince an intelligent electorate that he has fundamentally changed his party, will fail to form a government this week and will never become prime minister.”

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

“Make It Up” Macintyre Tweets Another “Exclusive”

James Macintyre no longer has a column in the New Statesman in which to share his insights. He now has only his Twitter to pass on wisdom. Yesterday he had a ground breaking “Twitter Exclusive” revealing that Gordon’s new book makes no mention of Tony Blair.

For Macintyre it is an exclusive from “a top Whitehall source”, for the rest of us it is a month old story we read everywhere. Wonder how his book is coming along?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Macintyre Retires

James Macintyre denies he was fired from the The New Statesman as Guido revealed yesterday. That’s not what the more than one source* from the Staggers said however, despite theiramicable departure statement. Though one source did say to go easy as he was a little “fragile”.  James claims he has left to write a book. Presumably fiction…

*Double sourcing, if only Macintyre had.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Exclusive: Macintyre Pushed Before He Staggers

Here’s a line Guido has been waiting to write for a long time – the New Statesman’s James Macintyre has been fired.

As regular readers will know Guido has had a less than cordial relationship with the thirsty sidekick of Derek Draper. There are two different versions of events as to what happened after the Statesman’s Labour Party Conference bash. Macintyre claims he was mugged on the way home, but witnesses say he was paralytic. Either way he didn’t wake up with his work laptop or phone. He was put on leave, but has now finally been shown the door after months of humiliating errors and dud stories.

In honour of his departure Guido thought he would list of some James’s Greatest Hits:

How can anyone forget when he called Michael Kaminski, the current leader the Tory ECR group of MEPs, a neo-nazi, on camera? Or when he accused the whole Conservatives of being institutionally racist? What about that time he got the Staggers sued for some serious cash by Daniel Hannan for equally outrageous claims?

There have also been some fantastic quotes from the widely respected journalist. By far the greatest must be those that showed his incredible foresight:

“With a few exceptions, the dark briefings by ministers against other ministers within Labour went away with the departure from Number Ten of Tony Blair”

He was destroyed by the Tory bloggers during the election after making up a story about them based on a menu he found. He also called the election for Labour:

“a small overall majority for Labour is the most likely outcome”

Guido has had some hilarious run ins, such as the time young James accused him of working for the Intelligence Services. Guido was particularly proud of of his put down.

Who could forget the his email chain with his former “close friend” Derek Draper about the cuteness of boys and girls, and the drunken denial of an unasked question at Tory Conference in Manchester 2008:

“I did not have sex with Derek Draper”

One of the final straws that broke the camel’s back must have been his calling of the Labour leadership for Diane Abbott. Presumably post lunch.

It is not known at this time whether he has finally got that job he coveted so much with Ed Miliband…


Seen Elsewhere

What We Learned From the Referendum | FT
Scottish Crisis Moves South | Nick Wood
English Democrats Accidentally Celebrate Yes Victory | Pink News
Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
Labour Could Be Split in Two | Sun
Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
Boris: Change Barnett Formula | Sun
Cameron is Back | Dan Hodges
What Happens Now | James Kirkup
Cairo of the North | Quentin Letts
Labour are the Biggest Losers | Phil Collins


VOTER-RECALL
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Diane Abbott on the Daily Politics:

“Labour MPs will unite behind Ed Miliband, once we find out what our policies are.”



It was only a tiny tiny collision.


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